IBBC’s inaugural Agritech Committee confirms commitment and project focus for pilot.

IBBC held its first inaugural committee meeting at the Royal Overseas League on 13th February, chaired by Dr Amet Selman of AAA Holdings. The broadly based committee included appointees from all areas of business and government: members of IBBC, including AAA Holdings, HHP Law, Stirling Education, Turnkey and Al Maseer Insurance, Mr Mohammed Majid Al Saaid of Sama Hammurabi Law, Financiers such as Mr Laith Allawi of Saracen, from Government; the Agriculture ministry in Iraq: Deputy Minister Mr Mahdi Sahar Ghailan,  Mr Talib Chasib Lafta Director General, Dr Ahmed Khalid, head of economics at the Embassy of Iraq in UK,  from the UK- Ms Eleanor Mardlin of UKs DBT, and a number of expert agriculturalists including Mr Shamal Mohammed of Silal in UAE, Mr William Rickard of AGintelligence.

The committee discussed their priority which is a commitment to the PM of Iraq to undertake a scoping and pilot study into the condition and status of land and soil in Iraq, to understand the nature of the challenge to agriculturalists in Iraq. The deputy minister confirmed GOI commitment to the project and is arranging an MOU with IBBC.

While the committee can deploy AI and advanced techniques in surveying land, the experts recommended there are basic activities and data which need to be secured, including simple agronomy measures to test PH, soil consistency, moisture content, retention, and weather. Once pilots have been undertaken (which could take some years) the use of AI and satellite surveys and agritech can be more easily scaled up across Iraq. Other considerations for the committee will include the most relevant use of fertilizers and crops in Iraq, how the supply chains can work, investment required to enable this, and how best to educate and inform the farmers as to what works best on their land. Insurance products crops and machinery, currently not in place in Iraq, were also discussed.

The next meeting is in April.

Ashley Goodall, Marketing Consultant at IBBC’s inaugural Agritech Committee meeting.